May 14, 2008
By MELANIE L. BINGCO
Palo, Leyte – Impressed with the community-based trainings of medical
courses in the University of the Philippines School of Health
Sciences, Dr. Nelson Martins, Minister of Health of the Democratic
Republic of Timor-Leste, plans to put up a school in his country
which would implement the same program and trainings as the UP-SHS has.
Martins found the program to be effective in having doctors to work
in communities despite the exodus of health workers in the
“My country is just eight years old and we have very few doctors. We
badly need midwives in the communities, too. So we hope we could have
the SHS programs you have here to improve the health services we give
to our people,” said Martins.
However, Martins was quick to clarify that they will not “plagiarize” UP-SHS.
“We only wish you could assist us,” said Martin who hopes to have a
memorandum of agreement signed between the Philippines and East Timor.
Positive response was given by UP Manila School of Health Sciences
Dean, Prof. Jusie Lydia Siega-Sur.
“We share the same aim of giving better health services to our
people,” said Siega-Sur.
The UP School of Health Sciences began in 1976 as the Health
Institute of Leyte put up by the UP College of Medicine to counteract
the problems of “brain drain” and meager health services in the
communities as more and more medical practitioners choose to work abroad.